Everyday History
Daily History Japanese Military Administration Japanese Occupation of the Philippines USAFFE World War II in the Philippines

May 10, 1942: USAFFE’s Sharp and his forces surrender

On this day in 1942, Maj. Gen. William F. Sharp, commanding general of the USAFFE Visayas-Mindanao Force, surrendered his forces to the invading Japanese forces in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

Sharp had assumed command of all remaining USAFFE forces after former USAFFE commander Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright appointed him before he surrendered his forces in Corregidor on May 6. He and his forces were expected to engage in guerrilla warfare after Corregidor’s surrender but Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma, Japanese Military Administrator in the Philippines and commander of the Japanese 14th Army, demanded his surrender from Wainwright. The forces in Corregidor were treated as hostages unless Homma’s demands were met.

When Sharp learned of Homma’s demands, he knew that Wainwright’s forces would be massacred if he did not surrender his forces. Nevertheless, he made efforts to expunge several soldiers and officers from military records to allow them to escape to the mountains and engage in guerrilla warfare. Many of the American and Filipino soldiers that served under him joined Col. Wendell Fertig’s guerrilla army.

After Sharp’s surrender, he joined Wainwright and USAFFEE Bataan Commander Maj. Gen. Edward P. King as prisoners of war of the Japanese and was held in different concentration camps in Luzon, Formosa, and eventually, Manchuria in China until they were freed by the Soviet Union’s Red Army in 1945.

Photo from history.army.mil shows Sharp (seated, third from left) with his staff in Mindanao in 1942.

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